Morning Links: $4.5 million settlement in broken street death, new laws aren’t helping OC, and windshield bias in CD7

LA’s poorly maintained streets and lack of safe bicycling infrastructure will cost taxpayers $4.5 million dollars.

And cost a bike rider his life.

The city council agreed to a settlement in the 2014 case of Edgardo Gabat, who struck a two-inch ridge of concrete on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and was thrown over his handlebars.

Sadly, the city knew about the problem after other riders had been injured there, but failed to fix it. Yet continued to list Colorado as a bicycle-friendly street, despite a lack of any bicycling infrastructure or warning signs.

As the LA Times points out, this settlement comes as Los Angeles debates whether to invest Measure M local return funds in fixing the streets or supporting Vision Zero projects.

Clearly, both are necessary. Because sometimes, it’s the same thing.

And as large as this settlement is, I have a feeling Gabat’s family would gladly give it all back just to have him with them again.

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from David Whiting of the Orange County Register, who says new laws and thousands of dollars spent improving safety haven’t cut the county’s bicycling death toll, averaging one rider a month killed in traffic collisions.

Yes, he stresses the need for bike riders to be polite and obey the law. And he’s not wrong about that, although no one ever seems to suggest that every driver has to obey all the laws and be ambassadors for motoring.

But he does point the finger where it belongs, at distracted drivers and dangerously close passes that violate the state’s three-foot law. And notes that fines for littering exceed the penalty for nearly killing another human being with just inches to spare.

The kicker to the story, which ends with a call for Wednesday’s Ride of Silence, is that his own wife returned home from a ride as he was writing it, and reported that a man in a truck yelled an obscenity at her.

Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, unfortunately.

………

Streetsblog considers the new protected bike lanes on Foothill Blvd in Sunland-Tujunga, which were installed as a Vision Zero measure in response to the death of bike rider Jeff Knopp. And how they entered the debate between CD7 council candidates Karo Torossian and Monica Rodriguez, as the formerly bike-friendly Torossian offered a windshield-perspective comment about bike lanes being “rammed down our throats.”

Meanwhile, the Eastsider repeats questions for the candidates for CD1, and once again, gets crickets from incumbent Gil Cedillo.

For all the problems that have surfaced recently with Joe Bray-Ali, it’s hard to imagine he could be any less responsive or more out-of-touch with the district than Cedillo has been.

………

This is why you don’t retaliate against drivers, no matter what they do or how pissed off you are.

A Santa Clarita man was sentenced to 188 days behind bars for throwing a bottle at a car after the driver apparently cut him off as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.

………

CNN visits the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel above Lake Como in Italy and its shrine to cycling and the Giro d’Italia.

A major crash took down 50 riders in the Giro, sending a number of riders out of the race and into the hospital. Meanwhile, Vincenzo Nibali’s homecoming was ruined when one of his teammates got the cycling equivalent of a red card for shoving another rider off the road.

The Modesto Bee previews the Amgen Tour of California, which starts this weekend, and says keep an eye on Peter Sagan. French rider Julian Alaphilippe won’t be defending his title, or competing in the Tour de France, for that matter, after knee surgery knocks him out for at least four weeks.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera returns to compete in the four-stage women’s Tour of California after becoming the first American the Tour of Flanders; full rosters were released for the women’s teams.

The course for this summer’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will go backwards.

………

Local

Metro invites you to attend the grand opening of the long-awaited Hollywood Bike Hub on Friday the 19th at 9 am.

CiclaValley looks at last weekend’s NBA Reunion and BMX Bike Show, which oddly had nothing to do with basketball.

The LACBC will be hosting a pair of bike safety classes in Inglewood this afternoon and this evening.

The Bikerowave bike co-op invites you to bring your bike in on Saturday to get ready for Bike to Work Day, and score some swag from Metro.

Santa Monica gets serious about reducing traffic fatalities, including hiring a Vision Zero Czar, increasing funding, improving infrastructure, updating the bike action plan, and addressing the city’s speeding problem. Maybe LA could take a few hints from them.

The year’s first Redondo Beach TEDx talk addresses the city’s transportation issues, like how to reduce driving and where more bike lanes are needed; sadly, the discussion came just two days before a 13-year old girl was killed riding her bike along PCH.

Speaking of the young victim in that case, the Easy Reader News offers the most complete account yet of what happened that tragic night, and the heartbreaking impact Ciara Smith’s death has had on the community. If the story doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Long Beach approved plans for a new 2.5 mile bicycle boulevard in the southeast part of the city. Thus demonstrating to its much larger neighbor that it is in fact possible to build the things that are included in a city’s bike plan.

 

State

Good question. The Human Streets website asks if it’s possible to get the data needed to pass the Idaho Stop Law in California without actually trying it first.

An injured mountain biker was airlifted after falling off his bike at the top of Coyote Run Trail in Wood Canyons Wilderness Park near Laguna Nigel.

Laguna Beach is looking for more input to create a more inviting entrance to the city, including a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cal State Fullerton police are looking for a bike-riding man who threatened to kill a woman who rejected his sexual comments.

Newport Beach boldly backs out of plans to improve safety on Bayside Drive, canceling plans for a roundabout, as well as an alternate plan for a road diet. Because obviously, you don’t want to do anything to save lives if it might possibly inconvenience someone.

Sixteen bike repair stations will be installed at fire stations throughout Ventura County over the next year; a 10-mile family friendly ride will be held on Monday to celebrate the first one.

Bakersfield police are still investigating a member of a prominent local farming family in the January hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike; police found an empty vodka bottle in the SUV of the driver, who has at least one previous DUI.

A Bay Area TV station offers advise on what you need to start cycling, albeit from a strict roadie perspective.

 

National

A new study shows increasing bicycling infrastructure can reduce fatalities and severe injuries as much as 75%. It includes Los Angeles as an example, even though LA has drastically cut back on building bikeways, and largely forgotten its 2010 bike plan.

People for Bikes says living plants make great diverters and traffic calming measures while doubling as on-street storm drainage.

Oregon considers a new 4% – 5% excise tax on the sale of new bicycles to fund transportation projects; while bike advocates may not like the idea, they’re not going to the mattresses.

Chicago is about to get its first contraflow bike lane, on a road where people frequently ride salmon to avoid busier streets.

As we mentioned awhile back, Pittsburgh-based ultracycling legend Danny Chew is back on track towards his goal of riding one million miles in his lifetime, now using a handcycle after a crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Hundreds of police officers are riding from New Jersey to DC for the annual Police Unity Tour to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

The homeless man who stabbed a Connecticut man to death as he neared the end of a ride to Miami to propose to his girlfriend won’t stand trial after being declared incompetent by the judge.

 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips says there’s no such thing as “just” a concussion, and every brain injury has to be taken seriously. I concur, from experience.

London’s Telegraph shares ten cycling routes you should tackle on your next trip to the UK.

After former three-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome was intentionally hit by a car while training in France, the BBC asks how safe the roads in the UK really are for people on bikes.

The Guardian says police have to crack down on vicious drivers, because bike riders don’t deserve to be killed by bike-hating motorists for jumping lights or hopping curbs.

Caught on video: Yesterday we mentioned the road raging London mother-to-be who will be having her baby behind bars after running a bike rider off the road and into a tree; today, horrifying security cam video of the crash was released. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Dutch art student left her bike in an English town when she returned home, with a note encouraging people to use it and return it for others to use.

The Paris Velib bikeshare goes electric with a new operator, ebikes and a new parking scheme that doubles dock capacity.

 

Finally…

The best way to lose a race — and get laughed at — is to celebrate your victory a lap early. Unless it’s nearly getting run over by the peloton posing for your Instagram pics.

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a drunken crash, make sure the cyclist you hit wasn’t a bike cop.

They take that shit seriously.

 

4 comments

  1. Andy S says:

    A story from less than an hour away from me.

    http://wqad.com/2017/05/10/galesburg-woman-charged-with-attempted-murder-in-cycling-road-rage-incident/

    The victim is in a Peoria hospital and recovering. A security guard where I work is a friend of his. Both are retired police officers.

  2. Jose says:

    The reporter considered the fact of death not sufficient to use other then “safe” speed for deadly bus.

    The bus was not safe to bike near, the speed did not make it safe.

    Safety maybe unrealistic, but redefining it hurts indeed,

    Speed was legal, despite bus being legal. Unsafe at any speed perhaps are heavy cars etc. Dangerous but welcome.

    When we March for science temporary Barriers are imposed, perhaps more permanent Barriers could help or this intersection is inherently dangerous.
    The wall of a bus side is imposition. It is train car like.

    It proves Unsafe.

    I can agree that at moment of collision the driver could do nothing.

    He was legal but my understanding is gruesome involving tires, reaction times, not side of bus having sufficient blunt force.

    Separating the killed girl from her friend maybe a natural reflex, the suffering girl from the mortally wounded one, but we deserve the grief unchecked.

    Also the 2 million a year is quite a detail. LA having years to pay for neglect brings impact down to it, not a good thing. The 4.5 is yet to be collected in full.

    So. Next year we pay and should see that itemized. We spend for cars endangering those not in them, drastic reductions in car infrastructure investment so quality can be increased is a reality.

    The city can be enjoined to stop work on widenings etc. Until maintenance for dangers known of is caught up on. This settlement has us retain discretion for new capacity despite existing danger.

    When traffic crawls it pollutes, it kills, but it represents money not spent on capacity, that could of or has saved lives.

    Those suffering it make it. Like on a plane, culling isn’t trivial to get right. We kill angels, let athletes roll head over heels three times instead of taking turns on road.

    As if the point was to slow to standstill. I wish. Nobody volunteers to congestion for its own sake, we do it to force safety funds to be wasted because we can.

    I would prefer a jury being allowed to order immediate payment punitively a public argument of our evil for lawyers 7 figure paycheck to bring.

    We pay to play with ignorance not in penance but with visions of mere intent being realised. For four plus million we need to know better how evil we have been. Ten million but actual penance, not business as usual, not illusion we can afford more of same basic conduct.

  3. Jose says:

    I autospell likely ellipted “lethal” so though alliteration of legal works poorly but works, the phrase “lethal legality” is a better title for unnecessary loss of life book.

    It is not safety. Zero injured defines safety. The metro operates with less lethal legality then cars but neither are safe. We choose danger, legalise literally as has been noted killing by car.

    We lie when we kill, justify it as a granted to be taken.

    The memorial, the possible bench, are salutes to killing as planned alternatives to the corpse obstructing traffic more then hours, being last to die for thruput.

    Thruput is the monster ready to donate solid gold bench if cars being benched remains forbidden to consider.

    If cars where used in any way rationally in cities it would make sense. We abuse cars making providing safe roads a goal only.

    The people are not represented but still marketed to the killing cars. The people want none of them slaughtered but leadership refuses. Only juries can reward lawyers for proving this.

    Not politicians.

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